The orientation and direction selectivity of cells in macaque visual cortex

Vision Res. 1982;22(5):531-44. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(82)90112-2.


Quantitative data are presented on the orientation and direction specificity of the responses of cells in macaque monkey striate cortex. There is a bimodal distribution of direction-specific and nondirection-specific cells, with similar orientation tuning in each class. Cells range in orientation bandwidth at half amplitude from 6 degrees to 360 degrees (i.e. no orientation tuning), with a median near 40 degrees. Foveal-parafoveal and simple-complex subsamples show similar ranges of orientation bandwidths as well as similar medians (the bandwidths being somewhat broader than those found in cat cortex). The foveal subsample and a high-spatial-frequency subsample have more horizontal and vertical optimal orientations than oblique ones. Most cells show inhibition to some orientations, as well as excitation to others. Minimum-response orientations are generally less than 90 degrees from the optimal orientation--indicating maximum inhibition adjacent to the excitatory orientations. Three simple receptive field models are shown to differ in their abilities to account for these results.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Fovea Centralis / physiology
  • Macaca / physiology*
  • Models, Biological
  • Oscillometry
  • Visual Cortex / cytology
  • Visual Cortex / physiology*
  • Visual Perception / physiology*